How to choose your ideal D&D character

character sheet.jpg

Welcome to the table.

What character are you going to play?

For first time players jumping into D&D, Pathfinder or other fantasy RPGs, picking what kind of character to play can be daunting. First off, there are loads of options (races, classes, subclasses, personality, equipment, backgrounds, feats, etc.). Second off, picking your class dictates how you’re going to experience the game.

You want to enjoy your character and how it plays, so we’re here to help you pick a character class.

For starters, what is a character class?

There are thousands of combinations that will make your character unique from its race (elf, dwarf, human, etc.) to what kind of weapons it carries (a short sword vs. a great axe vs. a holy symbol).

Your class is probably the most defining aspect of your character and dictates its abilities. Wizards cast spells. Rogues are good at sneaking and stabbing. Barbarians charge in like madmen and break stuff.

They all have some combination of combat abilities (attacks, damaging spells or abilities that strengthen other characters) and non-combat abilities (sneaking, picking locks, intimidation, diplomacy).

What role do you want?

What sounds fun to you? You can fight with swords or arrows or spells or fists. You can be the sneaky, stealthy guy who backstabs enemies or the wild and crazy girl who charges in with weapons swinging.

Think about a class your party needs.

A good party has balance. A crew of barbarians and fighters or a party made entirely of wizards might not work well.

A typical party has a magic user, a healer, a damage dealer and a tank, but parties can be balanced in diverse ways. If you’re having trouble choosing, ask the others at your table what they might need in the party. It could help you choose.

What class should you choose?

Let us help with that.

We broke out the core D&D 5th edition classes to help give you a sense of the differences between each one.

When you’re ready, crack open your Player’s Handbook and get to work.

Barbarian

Good for people who like: Fierce warriors, charging into battle.

Characters like: Conan the Barbarian, Drax, Hulk

Role: Tank that takes on enemies with its rage and reckless attacks.

Bard

Good for people who like: Magic that inspires others or music used as a weapon.

Characters like: Jareth the Goblin King, Tenacious D.

Role: A support class that uses magic and inspiration to control the battlefield.

Cleric

Good for people who like: Healing your allies, doing some damage.

Characters like: “Bones” McCoy, Thor, the healer class from your favorite video game.

Role: Often a healer, helping other characters stay upright while they battle. Occasionally a fighter who calls down the power of their god to help in battle.

Druid

Good for people who like: Using the power of nature or shapeshifting.

Characters like: Poison Ivy, Maui, Beast Boy.

Role: A magic user that casts spells and can shifts into a beast shape to fight.

Fighter

Good for people who like: A master of combat, weapons and armor.

Characters like: Wonder Woman, Captain America, Gimli.

Role: Your archetypal fantasy warrior, the fighter is a tank that does a lot of damage but also absorbs a lot from enemies.

Monk

Good for people who like: Martial arts and throwing punches and kicks.

Characters like: Rocky Balboa, Bruce Lee, Daredevil.

Role: A master of martial arts, the monk does a whole lot of damage with its fists and feet.

Paladin

Good for people who like: Calling on a favored deity as they run into battle.

Characters like: King Arthur, Darth Vader.

Role: A tank usually clad in heavy armor and using the power of its god to do battle and occasionally do some healing.

Ranger

Good for people who like: Lobbing in arrows and tracking down bad guys.

Characters like: Robin Hood, Legolas, Buffy, Link, Hawkeye, Katniss Everdeen.

Role: Often a ranged attacker, the ranger also has limited spellcasting ability.

Rogue
Good for people who like: Doing lots of damage, thieving.

Characters like: Han Solo, Loki, Black Widow.

Role: A sneaky character that can move around the battlefield, backstab and pick locks.

Sorcerer

Good for people who like: Blowing things up with magic.

Characters like: Scarlet Witch, Harry Potter.

Role: Damage dealers, Sorcerers are born with raw magic in their blood, but they have more limited access to spells than wizards but can cast them practically at will.

Warlock

Good for people who like: Dark deals and sinister magic.

Characters like: John Constantine, Silver Surfer, Jack Sparrow.

Role: Combat-focused, warlocks are given their magical powers by making a pact with an otherworldly patron.

Wizard

Good for people who like: Casting all kinds of magical and wonderful spells.

Characters like: Gandalf, Doctor Strange, Hermione Granger.

Role: Controlling the battlefield, Wizards study magic for years and are the masters of the arcane.

* * *

Now that you’re ready to go, be sure to keep up with everything we’re doing. Find and follow us on Facebook (Wayne does a live Coffee & Contemplation every Tuesday & Friday morning), InstagramTwitterPinterest and watch us play Roll20 on Twitch. Listen to our free DnD5e and Dungeon Crate podcasts. You can also score some sweet loot if you check out our online store.

How to use Dungeon Crate at your game table

Dice.jpg

Every month, Dungeon Crate delivers game-worthy goodies to your front door.

But what do you do with those goodies?

The miniatures, dice, adventures, tokens, terrain, coins, notebooks and other items often have obvious uses — y’know, roll the dice, use the miniatures in your games. But there’s always tons more you can do with everything in your box every month.

Miniatures

Often, Dungeon Crate includes miniatures that are a part of our exclusive adventures. You can definitely use them there but try creating your own encounter around a monster miniature. We’re also fans of crafting a new player character based off a mini we love. It’s even more satisfying if you paint it up and make it yours.

Alternately, make your new mini into an important NPC or perhaps a villain. A wight miniature we included recently could easily be a lich, a lord of undead, a deathlock or a necromancer.

Dice

There should be more to do in a tavern than find jobs and meet your new adventuring party. We like to create tavern games based off dice rolls.

Create a drinking game using the d8 you find in the box (adding bonuses for drinking stronger liquors or negative consequences for failing the associated constitution check). Or make a gambling game using a sweet d20. For example, each player rolls til they get a 20. The more rolls it takes, the more money they have to put in the pot.

Adventures

Every month, Dungeon Crate includes a new adventure created just for our subscribers. Maybe you’re in the middle of another adventure or not looking for something new to play.

But there’s always something from the adventures you can use in your games. Each adventure comes with a digital crate full of exclusive maps, new monsters from our bestiary and newly created magic items.

Grab that beefed up minotaur to drop in a random encounter. Pull the roadside encounter map to use in your own game.

Coins

We love using coins in our games. They offer a unique and cool way to represent currency rather than simply writing down how many gold points you’ve got on a character sheet. You can also use them as inspiration tokens, offer it to a player for great play, mark treasure locations on the map or use them to play tavern games.

The Box

“Wait, the box?” you say. Yeah, the box. If you’re anything like us, you have loads of D&D stuff laying around. The Dungeon Crate box is fantastic for storage, especially when you’ve been subscribing for a while and have built up a collection of them. You can also chop up the cardboard and turn them into tiles for your games. Or, turn the box into a tiny photo studio for your miniatures.

Be sure to keep up with everything we’re doing. Find and follow us on Facebook (Wayne does a live Coffee & Contemplation every Tuesday & Friday morning), InstagramTwitterPinterest and watch us play Roll20 on Twitch. Listen to our free DnD5e and Dungeon Crate podcasts. You can also score some sweet loot if you check out our online store.

A beginner's guide to Dungeon Crate

dungeon crate.jpg

Welcome to Dungeon Crate.

You’ve taken your first step down a road that goes ever on and on. We know you might have some questions about subscription boxes and the kind of stuff you’d receive in Dungeon Crate.

We have answers.

So, what is this crate business?

If you’ve never gotten one before, subscription crates are like monthly surprises you get for yourself. The basic idea is this: Every month, a specially-curated crate arrives at your doorstep with all kinds of goodies. And the price you pay is generally a lot less than the value of the items in the box.

It’s really fun and it can be really addicting. (We get, um, more than a few crates sent to our door every month.)

But what about Dungeon Crate?

Dungeon Crate is like other subscription boxes except we specialize in items for tabletop fantasy RPGs like Dungeons & Dragons and Pathfinder (and many, many others).

We were the first to do what we do, and we still think we’re the best.

What sorts of things should I expect in Dungeon Crate?

Only the best stuff.

Each crate includes several items. Past crates have included dice, miniatures, adventures, tokens, terrain, coins, notebooks, more dice, character trackers, dice trays, pins, pint glasses, pawns, dice bags, card decks, even more dice and items that fit your RPG-playing lifestyle. (The d20-shaped soaps were a hit.)

Many are custom items available only through Dungeon Crate.

Do all the items work together?

Each month has a theme, which is often centered around the adventure booklet we create just for Dungeon Crate.

Many times, the tokens, miniatures and other pieces work with the adventure, but they’re also universal enough that they can be used for any of your RPG sessions.

Do I get to pick the items?

We do that for you. We curate each crate to be something special, and every month is different. Everyone gets the same items. If you’re a Dungeons & Dragons gamer, you’ll dig them.

One month might be a thief adventure, a d20, rogue miniatures, inspiration tokens and elven coins. The next month might be a magical adventure, wizard miniature, magic item card deck, wizard familiar tokens and a button.

What else is there?

You may think the stuff that’s in the crate is all that the crate comes with. You would be wrong. We have more for you.

We also put together a kickass digital crate every month. It can include printable maps, virtual tabletop tokens, artwork, papercraft terrain and monster stats from our ever-expanding bestiary.

Sounds awesome. How do I subscribe?

It’s easy. Just go here and sign up.

We’re glad you’re on board.

How to use the minis, adventures and other items in April's Dungeon Crate

There’s something hidden in this month’s Dungeon Crate.

This month’s box is packed full of fun and a little bit of mystery, too.

With the contents of this month’s box, you can run our latest adventure, Hammeraxe’s Hidden Haul, get caffeinated, help your adventuring party track its movements or foist a devastating monster upon your players.

Fill up your cup, and let’s dive into this month’s Dungeon Crate.

Hammeraxe’s Hidden Haul

Cover.png

When a farmer hires a group of adventurers to escort a shipment of magical coffee beans, he forgets to give them all the details about what they’re hauling. They’re in for a surprise when bandits try to steal the coffee. That’s all we’ll tell you about this adventure, which is more fun if you don’t know the ending. It involves some scary beasts and a whole lot of caffeine.

How to Use it: Get some friends. Roll some dice. Enjoy the adventure!

Coffee Sampler

30424823_1263535313748994_4591585428899097073_o.jpg

Did someone say caffeine? This bag of Improved Initiative Blend from the Anodyne Coffee Roasting Company will give you the energy you need to keep gaming all day and all night. Dungeon Crate had this blend of coffee specially made by the game-loving folks at Anodyne. We checked with them, and drinking this coffee also gives you a +1 to your initiative bonus. We swear. We already cleared it with your DM and everything.

How to Use it: Grind it up. Pass hot water through the grounds. Strain the grounds out. Add cream or sugar to your liking. Drink it. Feel the energy boost.

Cartography Notebook

From the folks at 1980Who, these notebooks are meant to help you map your games. If you play theater-of-the-mind, the party’s scribe can help map out an area. If you’re creating your own adventures, you can use this to quickly map out an area. If you’re waiting for the wizard to decide what spell he’s going to cast, you can use it to doodle a little bit.

How to Use it: Filled with pages and pages of ⅛ inch graph paper, it’s perfect for creating dungeon maps. If you want some advice on drawing maps with pencil and pen, we recommend visiting cartographer extraordinaire Dyson Logos.

Carrion Worm

carrion worm.jpg

This ugly little spud from Reaper just burst out of the ground and is ready to swallow your character whole. This thing is gnarly and an amazing sculpt from Kevin Williams. Those teeth look ready to tear any would-be adventurer to pieces.

How to Use it: Paint him up and use him in your adventures. It could stand in for a carrion crawler, a purple worm or any slimy, burrowing horror you choose.

Dry Erase Character Tracker

charactersheet.jpg

Rather than shuffling through all those pieces of paper trying to find information on your character sheet, track it all on this handy dry erase tracker. This is going to save a lot of time at the table, and now we won’t have to pack an eraser.

How to Use it: Keep your character sheet nice and neat inside a folder and use this thing to do the dirty work. Track hit points, death saves, armor class, attacks, saving throws and lots more. Then just wipe it off when you’re done.

Digital Crate

cart.jpg

This month’s digital crate is absolutely packed. It includes stats for the adventure, including the all-new Carrion Worm, as well as a new type of goblin. If you have kiddos, there’s a maze for their entertainment. And the wagon featured in the adventure is available as a piece of papercraft terrain.

How to Use it: Download it. Print it out. Get to gaming.

* * *

Like what you see? Get next month’s box now by subscribing at DungeonCrate.com.